Well, it’s over. The kids are all busy playing with their new toys. I’m busy cleaning up and preparing for a new year. This Christmas had been difficult for many of us. Weeks leading up to Christmas, all I wanted to do was just sleep it off. Collectively as a nation, we felt so much loss amidst all the tragedies this year. But no one really knows how to cope with loss unless it happens to you. In my Facebook alone, at least five friends lost a loved one within the past few days. But Christmas went on. I felt the love. And I’d like to think I gave my love back.
I hope you and your families had a wonderful time. Sharing with you some snippets of the past season. I miss it already.
The kids didn’t really ask for major things. Every night our prayers always include the children and families affected by the war, earthquake and storm. On November 6th when the storm warning was serious, Sophia prayed — “Dear Papa Jesus, You don’t have to give me anything. I don’t really need much. But please, I ask that you save the people from the storm.” Two days after, Haiyan/Yolanda happened. Lily also learned about the suffering and damage caused by Yolanda. Her letter to Santa above shows how she cares. Sigh.
Santa came. Since Sophia had already bought Lily that simple book she asked for, Santa figured it out and gave them what he knew they really wanted (but was sold out in every toy store). Frozen dolls! Lily received Elsa and Stella got Anna. Sophia got more furniture for their Sylvanian Family house(s).
Speaking of Frozen, there was a nasty ice storm in Toronto that looked so beautiful in pictures. Because icicles formed on branches, a lot of trees fell breaking some power lines. My sister lost power in her house two days before Christmas. She didn’t have power=heat til Christmas Day.
So instead, let me post this photo of me and Stella at Noche Buena minutes before she fell asleep. Oh yes, Stella and Soph are wearing the same exact Gingersnaps dress. It was so beautiful, both girls wanted it. I wanted it in my size too. Haha. Photo by Koko Roura.
We put up our non-designed tree and used the same ornaments. Each one has meaning. The tin toys were from our first Christmas after we got married. The wooden toys are from my mom and dad’s recent trip to Germany. The paper and cellophane flowers were made by our helper. The kids also added a paper garland they made.
The kids were able to share some of their artistic talents with the kids of Yolanda. My very charitable friend Chary Mercado had been organizing relief work for Yolanda-stricken areas. She needed some Christmas cards to go with all the gifts they were sending. The kids and their friends got together with Chary’s daughter and did over 200 cards.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen these past weeks. But on the actual day of Christmas, I had turkey and pasta cooked by a restaurant. (Are we the only ones who are zombies on Christmas Day? This tradition of Noche Buena is taken seriously in my dad’s family. So on Christmas Eve we eat at midnight and get home by 3 or 4am.) Re: recipes, I promise to share some of my “experiments” soon.
Attended a lovely wedding at the Shangrila amidst this beautiful Christmas lobby. And OMG, the photos on my Samsung camera get automatically backed up in some cloud and some of them get saved as GIFs. Haha. I have no idea how it does this. But this GIF makes me smile because of Patrick’s serious non-smile. Haha. It reminds me of the flip book we had made at the wedding as a souvenir.
Looking back, I don’t know how we all did it. Going through the Christmas rush of shopping and making it to lunches and dinners with friends. It is always so lovely to see old friends. These are my friends from childhood.
Wishing you more days of relaxation, reunions, detoxification and all that. And more importantly I pray for peace in our hearts and that includes the feeling of safety for all of us. Merry Christmas to you my dear readers and friends!